2010 World Cup without Nigeria is unthinkable…Lokomotiv star says he’s optimistic Eagles ’ll land in S/Africa

Lokomotiv Moscow forward, Peter Osaze Odemwingie, has come out boldly to declare ahead of the final round of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers that the Super Eagles of Nigeria would take their game to the next level in the decisive stage kicking off next month.

The half-caste, who expressed satisfaction with the team’s impeccable run in the first round, said the players were determined to do better this time round to prove that Nigeria still remains the giant of Africa on the pitch.

"We all know that we can do much better. We don’t lack talents in Nigeria and we will always be the giant of Africa and will not let our people down," Odemwingie said. The player, who is still nurturing the ambition to playing in the English Premiership, said the 2010 World Cup was brought to Africa because of Nigeria.

According to him, the whole world knows that it’s only Nigeria that could do the impossible, and football pundits would be shocked to see the fulfillment of that dream in South Africa 2010.
"We, the new generation of Eagles, are determined to go the extra mile for Nigeria. We will try our best to get the 2010 World Cup ticket at the expense of the other teams in our group. We won’t let Nigerians down; we shall be in South Africa for good."

The player, born to a Russian mother and a Nigerian father and named ‘Osaze’ - meaning God chooses for you - played as a striker for Ligue 1 side, OSC Lille, but after much speculations recently, moved to Russian Premier League side, Lokomotiv.

Brought up in Nigeria, Odemwingie chose to pledge his allegiance to the country, although he was also eligible to play for Russia. He first plied his professional trade with CSKA Moscow as a youngster before moving to Belgium, where he played for La Louviere and made his mark by helping the club to win the Belgian Cup in his first year in the club. He scored nine goals in 44 appearances and got the attention of the Lille management, who before long, signed him to play for the French Ligue 1 club.

Famous for his pace and swiftness, the Nigerian player is currently being watched by some of the prestigious clubs in Europe. He indicated that he wanted to stay at Lille to help them fight for the league title the next season. He had already scored five goals for the club in the 2006/07 season, two against AC Milan at the San Siro to take Lille to the UEFA Champions League knockout stages. But the club could not resist a €17million offer from Lokomotiv, hence they sold him out.

Odemwingie has 20 caps and five goals to his name for Nigeria. His first appearance for the country was in the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations, in which he scored his first and second goals in the 80th and 82nd minutes against South Africa. He also played in the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations, where he played in the semi-final, losing to Ivory Coast 1–0.

The player was again in the 2008 African Cup of Nations for Nigeria and also played in the recent friendly games for Eagles. He is an Olympic silver medallist with Nigeria’s Dream Team IV, which played at the Beijing Games in China last year.
-Culled from the Sun news